So here goes, my FIRST EVER blog...gulp!
At the starting line...
Ok, to start, I'm not going to actually start at the start, if this makes sense, I'd bore people in 2 minutes flat!
I'll give you a VERY brief overview of my life and how I got here.
I am a nearly 40 something year old woman with a lovely family and great friends, and fabulous daughter and husband, I'm lucky to have all that, but I've had to make my own luck, without boring everyone I wasn't exactly born lucky, or rich.
I'm not rich yet either, but I say yet as I'm told it might happen one day, the lottery or work though who knows, happy to get the answer on a postcard.
I started up The Cocktail Queen after a short spell of hosting wine parties, I tried (and failed) but I still actively promote the wine events though so you never know.
Our parties are very different to what you usually get, you need to book one to find out ;-) but yes, The Cocktail Queen is now the main business and everything gets fed into it. I started the cocktail party business in January 2011 and with a lot of hard work and determination, a lot of sweat and tears I can finally say it's becoming successful. It's one of those businesses that goes from strength to strength with more work, not an easy task on my own though. As I'm pretty much on my own (besides a couple of friends helping me out from time to time) I do EVERYTHING, people think because it's a party company I only work weekends, this is not true, Sunday to Thursday are spent planning menu's, advertising, blogging (from now on), marketing, talking to potential customers... its non stop. Fridays & Saturdays I'm putting the equipment and drink together for the parties, Friday and Saturday nights I'm at the parties. I use a couple of marketing tools and social sites, take photographs of all my own drinks, chase and collate reviews for the website and mingle in social events - even when I'm out with friends or family, it's a full on 247 job, but it's my job, my responsibility and my own business.
I'm lucky to have a husband that works from home and takes care of our daughter pretty much every day, whilst doing his own job, doing up our house and garden, it's full on for us all.
Recession, what recession?
One thing that's become apparent during this "recession" is that people still like a drink, I'm always advised that people won't spend money in a recession, that's not actually true. People are definetely more "on guard" with their cash, but people are still happy to pay for cocktails, book holidays and have some luxuries in life, they work harder (as they don't want to lose their job) in a bid to self protect their livelihood, they want to spend more time with family and friends and I've tapped into that.
People tell me they love me coming along to their parties, maybe it's because I've bucked the trend of charging a small fortune for a standard (when I say standard I mean standard non expensive ingredients) cocktail, charging £12 for a cosmopolitan is plain wrong, no matter how it's dressed up!
I only purchase decent ingredients, people expect it, not just because it'll taste better (although it will)
I buy and use it because it's what my customers want, I have a level of expectations from my customer base, one is using decent products, the other is decent service.
At parties I TRY to chat to each person and find out a little about them, even if it's just their usual favourite drink or finding out what tv programmes they like, where they're going on their holidays or where why've been. I'm a social butterfly and I LOVE people, everyone. I'm interested in peoples lives, not in a nosy way though, I know my boundaries. It's not always possible to chat to everyone though but throughout the course of the event I'll get talking to people, usually in the kitchen, the best parties are always in the kitchen as they say!
My Own Birthday Bash
In October I turn 40, not relishing the thought of it, however I need to make my mark of it, somehow. People ask me if I'm making cocktails, in a word, NO! I'll get someone else to make my cocktails for a change, although I'll be avoiding those £12 cosmpolitans, All I can do is change the rules myself over time, here comes a bumpy ride to all those bars overcharging...The Cocktail Queen has arrived.